The serpentine belt controls a lot of stuff in your engine, including your power steering pump, alternator, water pump, and a lot more, so if it breaks or starts to wear out, replacing it is absolutely essential. You don’t have to go to a dealership or mechanic to do it—thanks to automatic belt tensioners, replacing it yourself is easy. So let’s break down what it takes to change a serpentine belt.
First, buy a new serpentine belt, consulting your owner’s manual or a parts store employee for the right kind of belt for your vehicle. You’ll probably also want to pick up a serpentine belt tool. You technically can replace a serpentine belt with regular tools, but it’s much harder that way.
If your car has a diagram of how the belt is supposed to go on, use it to guide you. If not, make a diagram yourself before you start. It’s important to know how the belt goes on. Next, park your car on a flat surface and pop the hood. Use the serpentine belt tool to turn the tensioner arm, which loosens the belt, and slip it off the smooth pulleys, then let go of the tensioner and take the belt off the rest of the way.
Now get the new belt and, following the diagram, use the belt tool to slip the new belt onto the pulleys. Rotate the tensioner while you put the belt on to gradually tighten it and keep the belt from slipping off. The last part of putting the belt on is sliding it onto the round roller. Make sure the belt is on the pulleys correctly and release the tensioner.
With a serpentine belt tool, this job should take less than half an hour to finish.
If you have any questions, just contact us or stop on in Parks Select today!